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American Pastoral (2016)

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An All-American college star and his beauty queen wife watch their seemingly perfect life fall apart as their daughter joins the turmoil of '60s America.

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Writers:

(based on the novel by), (screenplay by)
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lou Levov
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Jerry Levov
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Sylvia Levov
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Penny Hamlin
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Merry (8 Years Old) (as Ocean Nalu James)
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Bill Orcutt
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Storyline

Seymour Levov, going by the nickname of 'Swede' in the Jewish community he was born into, was even more of an all-American than Douglas Fairbanks himself. He had just everything an American idol can dream of: not only was the tall muscular young man a high school star athlete but he married a beauty queen named Dawn in the bargain. And as if all this were not enough, Swede later became the successful manager of the glove factory his father had founded, which allowed him to live with his wife in a beautiful house in the New Jersey countryside. Well-mannered, always bright, smiling and positive, conservative but with a liberal edge, what bad could ever happen to him? And yet...this was reckoning without fate and its obnoxious irony, Swede and Dawn's nemesis manifesting itself in the person of Merry, their beloved daughter who in her teens unexpectedly turned into a violent activist. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A radically ordinary family. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexual material, language and brief violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

21 October 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El fin del sueño americano  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$149,038, 23 October 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$541,457, 25 November 2016
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the shoot Ewan McGregor would hone his New Jersey accent by listening to recordings of Ray Liotta dialog while on location. See more »

Goofs

When Swede and teen Merry talk in her bedroom, the LP cover at the front of a stack of records on the floor changes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nathan Zuckerman: [narrating as WWII era dance music plays] Let's remember the energy. America had won the war. The depression was over. Sacrifice was over. The upsurge of life was contagious. We celebrated a moment of collective inebriation that we would never know again. Nothing like it in all the years that followed from our childhood until tonight, the 45th reunion of our high school class.
Nathan Zuckerman: [now walking down a school hallway] At 30 or 40, a gathering of my old classmates would have been exactly ...
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Soundtracks

Moon River
Written by Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer
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User Reviews

 
Some truly radical politics
8 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

American Pastoral a fine flashback look at the 60s and how the events of the day affected one upper middle class family. The father is Ewan MacGregor the star athlete who married teen beauty queen Jennifer Connelly and looked like they were heading for the golden future. They're from Newark and MacGregor now manages the family business which is a leather goods factory in Newark. But they move out to the suburbs of Morris County.

First off it's a mixed marriage with Jewish MacGregory marrying a Shiksa in Connelly. They have one child a daughter Dakota Fanning who growing up in the 60s sees what's going on around her and gets into some truly radical politics. Her parents are traditional liberal Democrats.

Something she does makes her a fugitive. The rest of the film is MacGregor and Connelly's agonized family traditions are blown apart. They want to understand their child and want her back. But that can never be.

This film is adapted from a Philip Roth novel and Roth drew his characters well as this was an era he and I both grew up in.

Besides the main characters I would single out Peter Riegert's performance as MacGregor's father and Valerie Curry who has embraced totally Weatherman style radicalism. Her scenes with MacGregor who is trying to find his fugitive daughter just crackle with intensity.

A real portrait of an era in America we're still trying to understand.


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